From my dad, as he was describing his experience of reading a Mo Yan novel:
“Art is a stimulation of your sensory systems.” This is my rough translation from Chinglish. I hope I have done the intended meanings of his words justice.
My dad says some cool things.
Just a question that popped into my head yesterday.
Seeing photos from the past, the photos from my parents’ photo albums and those of my friends’ parents, some of them now carry an artistic aesthetic that modern photographers even seek to emulate when creating new works. These photos were taken to serve as familial records, free from aspirations of message-carrying self-expression or public display. And yet, with the passage of time, have they become art? Can something created without artistic intention become art with the passage of years and the changing of cultural contexts?
Photo credits to Rachel Cali.
I have not seen many art exhibitions, but this was unlike any I’ve ever seen. On their placards, rather than voicing statements about what their art represented, voicing academic intentions of eliciting specific reactions and thoughts from others, the veterans instead wrote of their gnawing impulsions to excise and unshackle for no one’s sake but their own.
Raw and visceral.
From a certain Paul ’52 in the New York Times Economix post, “Obama’s View of the Economic Challenge”:
“the returns to labor just are not as high as they used to be. Robots and computers and globalization have in many cases made your average American worker less valuable – particularly if he or she is less educated.”
True, but not the whole story. Fact is, ‘robots and computers and globalization” have made everyone along the chain less valuable. The ones who’ve paid the price of this are “your average American worker.”
The average worker is, in fact, far more productive as a result of robots and computers, but the gains in productivity have gone elsewhere. And your acceptance of burdening the “average” worker with increased productivity as if that were a cost to him, that highlights the problem.
We knew automation was coming in the early 70’s, and we should have had a robust debate on how the benefits would be shared — work sharing, increased leasure, etc. We didn’t, and we created a ruling class accordingly.
It may be 40 years later, but we should be having the debate.
Ideal: That we carry out a measured Butlerian Jihad in the future that leaves us like the Ixians.